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This State Will Send Everyone a Mail-In Ballot for November

Gavin Newsom has issued executive order in California amid coronavirus pandemic
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2020 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – In a US first, one state has committed to sending mail-in ballots to all voters for November's election. Per KGO, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on Friday announcing that ballots would be sent to eligible Californians as the state slowly starts to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Return postage of the ballots will be prepaid. For those who still prefer to cast a ballot in person, those sites will still be available, though it's not clear how many or where. Newsom added that plans are in the works to ensure voter safety at these sites, per NBC Bay Area. "California will not force voters to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote," tweeted California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

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USA Today notes that the move is California's way of trying to steer clear of the problems that took place in Wisconsin during that state's primary: Dozens of voters became infected with the virus after visiting polling sites in April, though the link isn't a definitive one. The announcement has already opened up the door to a legal showdown, with the Republican National Committee announcing it will go over "options to ensure the integrity of the election." Members of the GOP, including President Trump, have criticized mail-in voting as being ripe for abuse, though there's no precedent for widespread fraud where mail-in voting has taken place. (Read more California stories.)

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